I jump the practice jump and the mother says “That’s the one. Let’s head down.” So, I walk him down to the entrance. We are ready to go in. Ready to jump round the course. If we do it right and come out with a clear then we are in the running to win. If we win, we get to compete in the championship in the main arena – a dream of mine for so many years. If we win that, maybe we could get a photo in the Horse and Hound. Maybe even the front cover. I could have it framed and put it on the wall. Maybe I could put it in a frame with my rosettes and sashes. But which wall should I put it on? I need to get the right spot if I am going to drill a hole in the wall. Actually does my drill work? I might have to get someone to come and help me do that? Who? Where do you actually get those frames? Oh, god, I’ve forgotten the course. No. All this preparation and I have forgotten the course. Oh, god……..
This is how my brain works and this is why I use the mantra “one fence at a time”
Do you ever find that your brain just gets ahead of the game sometimes and you just feel overwhelmed? Well, it is harder to get overwhelmed if you are just jumping one fence!
Going into an arena to jump a course might feel scary. So, go into the arena to jump a fence. If you aren’t happy then come out. If you are happy, try for number two.
Important side notes are that everyone with you needs to be on the same page. Even if they aren’t really on the same page and have driven for 2 hours to watch you, they need to be openly on the same page.
Also, walk the whole course. I had previously been so intimidated by a course and so committed to the one fence thing that when I got to fence 10 and was clear, I wasn’t 100% sure of where fence 11 was!
This technique has really helped me with my confidence issues too. Breaking things down to small sections makes everything less daunting and keeps a handle on my nerves. I am not nervous to just go to the stables, I am not nervous about tacking up, I am not nervous about getting on and walking to the school etc…… I talked about this in my recent vlog too on my YouTube Channel.
Taking my own advice this week. I may even get to jump an actual fence but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.